Friday, April 17, 2015

What's New at the Zoo?

 A lot has been happening on our little wannabe homestead.  Last weekend we had one of our granddaughters visiting for the weekend, and I think we gave her a nice taste of country life.  We are fortunate enough to have my best friend of nearly 35 years and her family living just down the road, and we got to visit their little budding farm to feed baby goats.  It was a lot of fun and really got us excited about the animals that will soon be joining us here.  This weekend will see 20 chicks moving in, and in about a month we plan to add four sheep.  There is talk of goats, but we'll see when they get added to the mix.  It may be later this summer, or possibly next spring.  One thing at a time.  Here are pictures of kids with kids.  Too much cuteness!

There is a lot of work to be done on the homestead.  When we moved here four nearly four years ago the property was very overgrown.  The one animal shelter was so well camouflaged by plant life that it took three visits before we even discovered its existence.  The first order of business is to fence in the area where the sheep will be housed.  Fortunately the hubs had some experienced help, and as a bonus we were able to use existing poles.  Have you ever priced fencing?  Yeah, and there's lots more to put up.

You can see why the hubby wants goats.

Hard at work.

Another thing we've been hard at work on ever since we moved in is establishing some garden beds.  There was no real landscaping here at all, and everything was overgrown.  Each year we've managed to grow some sort of food, last year providing the biggest haul so far.  We actually got to do some canning!  This year we are trying our hand at seed starting.  There are flowers and veggies in there.  We have three beds that need attention.  There are bushes to pull, branches to trim, and plants to move.  Hopefully, we'll see a bigger haul this year.

This is the first time we find ourselves without a canine companion in nearly 20 years.  However, we do have two resident felines.  They do a wonderful job of keeping the rodent population under control, and I'm guessing their presence keeps snakes at bay.  In all the years we've lived here I've yet to see one.  Although, I do know they are present as they've been spotted by others.  Harmony and I have been working on honing our photography skills.  This first picture is Charlie, the alpha male.  He loves to hang out in the woods behind our home.  I was finally able to focus past the branches and capture his little, basking self.

Charlie on a Log

Admiring the kill.

All the little kids chickened out, so Harmony
flung the dead mole into the woods.
I love Kiley's face!

We've been cooking a lot of food from scratch here, and Harmony is really growing in her abilities in the kitchen.  She has been working on perfecting her recipe for Gluten Free Chocoloate Chip Cookies for entry in the 4-H Fair this July.  She's getting pretty good and can now follow the recipe all on her own.  We're still working on completely understanding measurement, but she does it all on her own asking questions as she goes along.  We enjoy being her tasters very much!  Every family should bake chocolate chip cookies once a week!

Harmony baking GF Chocolate Chip Cookies
 I've never been a fan of oatmeal.  A friend from our local homeschool support group was kind enough to share her recipe for Baked Oatmeal.  We absolutely love it.  I'll share the recipe in a future post as well as a few others I've been working on for you.  So, stay tuned!

Martha's Baked Oatmeal

We love to hear what others are doing in their homeschool.  What have you been up to?  What are your plans for the summer months?  Do share!

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